This article throws light upon the ten important factors affecting the personality of a child. The factors are: 1. Genetic 2. Non-Genetic 3. Nurture 4. Social 5. Family 6. School 7. Peer-Group 8. Profession 9. Community 10. Culture.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 1.
As in the growth of vegetation, immense is the importance of the seed and of the soil. The type of seed that is used, and the nature of the soil where the seed is sown, determine very much as to what will be the nature of the growth of the vegetation that is desired to be grown; the same is the importance of the sperm of the father and the ovum of the mother.
The resultant fertilised nucleus—cell is divided into two rod-like or threadlike structures, each such a pair is called a chromosome; the process of breaking down continues till the number of chromosomes grows to 23 pairs. These chromosomes contain genes; and genes are the carriers of heredity.
Aristotle classified personality into three types:
Short, fat-built persons fall into this category.
Those having long and thin physique have been put in this category.
To this third category belong the persons who are muscular and have a well-proportioned body structure. This classification is based on the apparent condition of the physique of a person. The condition of physique is mainly the result of heredity; it, generally, depends on genes. People would link one’s height and body- build to one’s parentage.
This aspect of one’s personality much depends upon the genetic factors of a person.
Aristotle in the past, and Stanford and his associates in our times, have linked temperamental and other characteristic traits to the type of body- build as mentioned above. (Considering the body-build or physical characteristics, Kretchner and Sheldon have also made a like classification into three types).
The psychologists of our age conducted experiments too but they could not come out with conclusive results; at the most, their results may be said to be suggestive.
To what they have reached, may be put in brief as under:
1. Genetic factors determine both the physical attributes and the other personality characteristics.
2. The individual’s physical characteristics may affect his temperament and behaviour.
3. A thin, non-muscular, and poorly co-ordinated person in motor development, is less likely to achieve success in physical tasks; or, in athletic games—the activities that the school boys value highly; with the result that he cannot enjoy popularity with his peers.
This would make him withdrawn and timid and introvert. The strong, well-muscled, is more likely to become popular with his peers; he would be more involved in group games—all this would make him an extrovert; he may grow aggressive, too. On the contrary, an ectomorphic would withdraw from “gangs”; and it is there that most delinquent acts occur.
In the above paragraph we have mentioned personality of two types 1. Introvert and 2. Extrovert—showing their relationship with the physique of a person. Later on, we shall see how many types of personalities the different authors have shown, assessing the same from different angles.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 2.
The physique of a person is dependent not only on the genetic factor, but there is one more prenatal factor which affects it. It may be called non-genetic or biological factor. When the embryo/foetus is in the womb of its mother, it is hardly affected by the external environment.
It is fed through the umbilical chord, and its feeding depends upon the food of the mother. The malnutrition of the mother, would affect the physique of the unborn baby; and not only its physique but the temperamental or emotional build-up of the child is also affected by it.
The mental condition of the mother, though cannot directly affect the emotional conditions of the child yet indirectly it does.
If the prospective mother is suffering from a sense of insecurity; is tense because of anxiety, is hot because of anger, it would affect her physiology—the heart-beat would increase, the body temperature may also be affected, there would be more secretion of glands; chemicals, such as acetylcholine and epinephrine, may increase in amount and the same would adversely affect the digestive system.
All these constitute the non-genetic or biological factor, the effect of which becomes apparent only when the child is born. The mother feels that the neonate is too much crying, squirming or peevish. Later on, the personality that develops may be of a person who is irritating, short-tempered, aggressive and problematic, if not proper handling in childhood is made.
The ailment of parent and the home environment of the prospective mother also have their effect on the physique and emotional build-up of the child to be born.
This nature, through genetic and non-genetic factors, affects the physique which led Aristotle to classify personality into three categories:
2. Ectomorph and
And also classify temperamentally or emotionally into:
(i) Active—Lively, talkative, playful, creative, good physical co-ordination with greater strength and energy.
(ii) Inactive—Sluggish, passive and poorly co-ordinated.
(iii) Timid—Physically small in status, poorly coordinated, relatively weak and apathetic, shy, fearful, depending more on others; such a child would remain more absent from his school than others.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 3.
All the factors that make the environment, and, affect the development of an individual into a personality, may be put under the heading Nurture; Nurture includes all that are there in the environment, both physical and social.
The nature of land, mountains, plateau or plains, rivers, lakes and so on, geographical location; and flora and fauna of the place in addition to the climatic conditions, all affect the nature or kind of personality that is in the process of evolving.
Besides these, the architecture and size of the house, its sanitary systems or hygienic conditions, ventilation, cleanliness of the house and so on, all have relationship with the development of the personality of the individuals living therein.
The kind of food used (balanced and fresh or stale and unwholesome); the water drunk, clothes put on, and so on, all have their share of effect in making the kind of personality that an individual grows into. They all make the physical environment.
From what has been written above, it becomes clear that socioeconomic conditions of a family make the living style of it different from that of the others. Thus, socioeconomic conditions make an important constituent of social environment. The social environment happens to be the result of what the people of the society do.
Hence, it also includes the behaviour of parents and siblings, of peers and teachers, and of people of wider and wider society into which the child or adolescent progressively moves on. Now, before going into details, it would be quite proper to speak something about Bronfenbrenner’s conceptualization of development.
He has conceived ecological development as a set of four nested systems: (Fig. 15.1) he has explained how an individual develops or what are the factors affecting this development; the same set of four nested systems can explain the conception of the development of personality.
At the first level is the “microsystem”—it is related to the individual experiences of the young child that he has:
(i) In the home environment, living with his parents and siblings; and
(ii) In the school environment, living with his teachers and peers.
At the second level is the “meso-system”—it refers to the links amongst settings where the individual child directly participates in. For example, the home and the school are such settings; and the quality of the home environment may affect the child’s performance in the school, and his adjustment with the peers.
The third level is the “Exosystem”—this refers to the settings where the child does not directly participate in; the father’s or the mother’s work environment is the example in which there is no direct participation of the child but their work environment does affect the child-care that the parents take.
The fourth and the final level is the “macro-system”—it refers to the general pattern of ideology and organisation of the different social and the sub-cultural institutions. For example, the parents’ stress at work is affected by the number of working hours, rates of emoluments, perks provided, holidays and leave entitlement, occupational status, or the view of the society regarding different occupations and others.
The parents may be properly employed, semi-employed or unemployed but the occupational predicament of the parents do not directly affect the children’s behaviour, though it affects the behaviour of the personality of the parents, and this in its turn affects the behaviour or the process of development of the children.
The nested circles do show that the macro-system may affect the exo-system and the exo-system to the child’s meso-system and microsystems.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 4.
In comparison to an ectomorph, the mesomorph and also endomorph would be more social. These latter types would be more acceptable by other members of the group; and they, too, would be more self-confident, and would develop higher self-esteem in due course.
As mentioned above, their physique is such that they would be more inclined towards games, sports and other physical activities; and would be able to perform there better. These abilities or skills of theirs would make them more popular with their peers and others, and, they would grow more and more social.
Aristotle, Stanford et al., and also Glueck and Glueck have established a relationship between physical structure or type of the physique and the psychological characteristics, and accordingly they have enumerated the types of personalities. However, their findings cannot be said to have definiteness.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 5.
In a family, the greatest impact exerted is that of the mother, the loving care or the affectionate nurturance of the mother goes a long way in building up, especially, the emotional aspect of personality. Whether the child grows into a healthy adolescent or into aggressive or neurotic or otherwise a problematic one, to a great extent, depends upon the treatment that he, as a child, has got at the hands of his mother.
The smiling face of the mother lays the foundation stone for the socialisation of the child. Stone and Church write that in the beginning, individuals and things have only emotional significance for him, their qualities he can realise only later on.
Though the child has been born with some prenatal effects but they also happen to be mostly because of his mother and, now again, after birth, for a period of few months, what counts most, is the affectionate nurturance of the mother.
A mother who attends and fulfills the needs of feeding, elimination and clothing of the child without delay, and with patience and love, would be helping in developing a child who would grow into a youth with balanced temperament. He would, generally, remain in a good mood, and would not get peevish on any small hurdle coming his way.
On the contrary, if the mother is not healthy, gets irritated often, roughs the child, cries at him, neglects his needs and lets him cry long before his needs are fulfilled, would be responsible for the child’s developing the habit of crying even when no genuine cause for the same is there, such a child would refuse taking his feeding, or would take out the milk and so on, that is put into his mouth.
He would go on crying, or throwing out his arms and legs or squirming with discoloured face. If this continues for a good part of infancy, it would be difficult to sublimate the child from gestures of aggressiveness.
Thomas A et al studied 130 children from birth through the first two years, and concluded that changes in temperament cannot exclusively be attributed to environmental factors. Temperamental characteristics already present during the first few months, make a fundamental difference.
Personality is a result of interaction between these and an environmental complex. These already present temperamental characteristics make a central core of personality, a centre of gravity which lends stability to personality and reactions to all environmental experiences that are affected by this central core.
A few months after birth, other members of the family, who are emotionally attached to the child, start having their impact in the evolution of the child’s personality. It counts much whether the face that the child encounters is smiling or crossed; the tone of the elders, rearing the child, also affects it.
Baldwin, AL worked on a sample of 67 children, all ranging about 4 years of age, and were attending their nursery school. The objective was to study the impact of the home on the development of the child. The author visited homes with both types of environments—democratic as well as controlled.
The homes with democratic environment were characterised by more permissiveness, avoidance of arbitrary decisions, and a high level of verbal contact between the parents and the child, consultations about decisions, explanation of reasons for family rules, supplying satisfactory answers to the questions of the child which may have been prompted by his curiosity.
Contrary to this, in the homes with controlled environment, there was found clear-cut restriction on behaviour. All were working with a discipline externally imposed upon them.
Now, the important thing to see is how the two different types of home environments, effect the development of two different categories of personalities:
A child reared in a home with more of democratic atmosphere, is more likely to develop as an author, scientist or leader because of his having more of fancifulness, curiosity, originality and better expression. But the highly indulged, babied and overprotected children grow to be timid, awkward and apprehensive.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 6.
School provides a very important landmark in the process of the development of personality. Suddenly, the child is shifted to an environment where he gets to see almost all faces to be new. The homely affectionate environment is not there.
According to Bowley et al, the separation produces a permanently disturbing effect on the child. Casler (1961) found that loss of maternal love, probably, has ill-effects on the child only if the separation occurs after specific affective responsiveness has been achieved.
The result may be less rapid social and motor development. The child has to deal with a big number of children who initially happen to be strangers to him. But a few things are common with them. They are almost of the same age, and, must be having their likings and dis-likings common to a great extent.
They all have suddenly been weaned out of the environment that they have so closely been attached to, though the separation happens to be only during the school hours. These common factors help in getting children, gradually, closer to one another.
Next to home, the school is the social agency which the society has entrusted with the work of co-operating the home in inculcating in the child the needful social habits of living, in developing attitudes befitting the values of the society and so on. Since early years, both the family and the school instill in the behaviour and thoughts of the child the important cultural characteristics of the society that give it its separate identity.
The school caters not only for the physical and intellectual development of the child but being the custodian and transmitter of culture from generation to generation it includes such topics in its curriculum that may inculcate the desirable values of culture. The attitudes, habits and if the same are of the desirable sorts, can make the person social and cultured.
Nevertheless, because of difference of “central core”, each person has his own attitudes and habits by which he is recognised as a personality separate from others. Along with family, the school is also expected to inculcate wholesome habits indicative of discipline, co-operation, truthfulness, diligence, punctuality, creativity and so on.
Personality is what a person is—it includes everything of a person. And, what a person is, can be known through the behaviour of a person. And, one behaves as he is directed by his attitudes, and is accustomed to or habituated to.
The school is to play a very significant role through a host of its activities, and by way of creating a very congenial environment, in the development of the child into a personality that is sound in body, and mind, and emotionally strong and noble.
The school broadens the experiences of the child both intellectually and socially. In school the child has to live in the company of teachers and so many other students; it enhances his ability to adapt to new social situations—this is why school is considered to be the most effective agency which works for the socialisation of the child.
The school through its routine activities develops a lot many social qualities in the growing child. Here, the child takes many conduct prohibitions on faith. “School increases the child’s concern with what happens to other children, and, also increases the scope of their interpersonal relationships” (Fig. 15.2).
Dodge and his colleagues suggest how a child can earn social behaviour through peer interactions:
The supposed situation is that child A is interacting with child B. B is running forward with arms raised, shouting and smiling. A will pass through certain steps of the process before coming to the final response.
(i) He will encode the incoming information-perceive what child B is doing;
(ii) Interpret the information whether the behaviour of B is friendly or aggressive;
(iii) Search for appropriate responses whether he should run away, or ignore or play fight;
(iv) Evaluate these responses, and select the best and then
(v) Enact the response—will do it effectively.
In response to the behaviour of A, the child B will also pass through the similar steps of the process.
A school through its teachers, curriculum, approaches to teaching and overall physical and social environment, so impresses its pupil that it leaves an indelible impact on the personality of its products by which they are recognised.
Among these factors, the teacher is the crucial one; he alone is the having factor and the impressiveness of other factors; is dependent upon his skill and personality; upon the fact how good a teacher he is.
A classic study was conducted by Lewin et al to see how the teaching style affected the development of skills in the taught, their output and social behaviour. The students were divided into three groups, each under the leadership of a teacher with a different style as regards the providing of guidance.
The first was authoritarian; the second, democratic, and the third a laissez faire. The activity was making masks of paper-Mache.
They all were 11-year-old boys:
1. The authoritarian leader was providing directions, was highly critical of work; kept distance from the boys; made all the decisions himself with no explanations for the same.
The impact. The output was quite high. There was discipline in the class but as soon as the leader (teacher) was away, the work stopped. No initiative, no enthusiasm or creativity was seen in the group.
2. The democratic leader talked about the aims of the course; boys were a party in decision-making, dialogue and discussions during classes. The boys, to some extent, were also free to choose the partners for their group.
The impact. The output was less; but quality was better; the work continued even when the leader was away; there was much of enthusiasm, initiation and creativity.
3. The laissez-faire leader allowed the boys to do as they liked; gave no guidance or direction about the mask-making activity; not any feedback was provided regarding the quality and the quantity of the output.
The impact. The group fared the worst of all. The quantity was low, the quality was poor; the mentality was that of apathy. The boys were confused as no directions or guidance was available. The boys were not happy working in such conditions.
Especially, the nursery teacher’s behaviour should be such that she may make up, to some extent, the absence of the child’s mother from whom he is taken off suddenly for attending his nursery school. The teacher’s personality should be characterised by a natural affection for the kids of the school.
Her patience and painstakingness should be indicative of her affection for the kids. On the contrary, if a teacher is rough with, and, is howling at the students all the time, the students may develop a repulsive attitude for the school, and for all related to it. This would change the whole direction of the development of their personality.
Weare quoting a few words from a book which describes the great impact of the school in the making of a child into a good personality. With entrance in the school, a sense of responsibility begins to be developed; without this there can be no development.
His attitude towards or his sense of the worthwhileness of efforts, a sense of attachment towards the school property, his sharing of teacher’s time and attention, and his learning to team up with his peers, are all in the making from the day he enters the school.
The school age is a period of learning how to accept defeat in sportsman spirit, how to accept failure as a challenge for greater efforts; for learning not to cheat in work or play; and, of expanding groups’ participation and responsibilities, although most of these lessons are continuing through the school years.
The first three years in school, usually, determine the child’s attitude towards school and the job of school for the rest of the school life, and, perhaps, even for the rest of his career. Moral attributes make a very important aspect of a person’s personality; from the above paragraph we may very well follow what an important role a school plays in developing good moral qualities in an individual.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 7.
Generally, initiation has to be taken by the newcomer as he knows that now he will have to live with the group. He has to learn the cues and the responses which are likely to be rewarded by his peers.
The process of integration progresses only slowly because the peer-group is not exactly consisted of members of the same type; and the socioeconomic status of their families also happen to be different, and then each happens to be having its own “centre of gravity” or “central core” because of their having had different prenatal impacts besides having heterogeneous family backgrounds.
Factors which affect following are the factors which affect peer acceptance:
1. Those who are bodily well-built and strong, are liked by their peers.
2. Those who are good looking, they become popular among the peer group.
3. Children better in physical activities or sports, win more friends.
4. Habits of tidy-living are also liked by the members of the group.
5. A happy child, friendly in nature, would naturally win more friends. The frequent laughter is a sign of friendly invitation.
6. Those who are good at studies, may attract some for friendship with them while at the same time some may become envious of their class-achievements.
7. Rough and tumble, and having some aggressiveness also get favourable attention from many.
8. During the middle childhood, such children are befriended who are skilled and competent in the work befitting their age and sex.
Patterson et al, through a diagram have shown how the rejection by peers and failure in academic work has its cause in the nature of family care (see Fig. 15.3).
“Rejection” by normal peers may be caused by the conduct of the child himself; he may be a problematic child. “Poor parental discipline and monitoring” may have been a factor responsible for the child’s growing problem. And, because of this factor (that is, poor parental care), he may not be doing well in school.
A child so poorly looked after at home, and rejected by the normal peers, (and being punished frequently by his teachers because of his academic failure), is very much liable to be attracted towards the deviant peer group. And, moving in that group means that he is definitely to grow into a delinquent.
So, “acceptance” by the peer-group is very important if the child is to be protected against delinquency. And, for the peer acceptance, the conduct of the child should be such that the normal peers may like him. Again, the conduct of the child would be good only if the desired parental care (discipline) and monitoring had been there.
As the children get older, they become more independent of their parents; more of their time would be spent with their peers. The norms and values of the peers become more important to them.
For acceptance by the peer group, each child tries to conform to the norms and values of his peers; he chooses the type of clothes as worn by the popular member/members of the group; he copies; and he would imitate them in the way of speaking; and, would have the same cine-stars as his favorites as his peers (especially the favorite peers) do.
He feels a pressure to conform to the attitudes and behaviours of his peers for fear of being left out.
Acceptance and rejection by the peer-group has a long enduring impact on the behaviour of an individual. It affects the development of personality. Those accepted happen to be extrovert and sociable, they, generally, also happen to be out-spoken.
Since their school times, they are active and participating in different activities, their social qualities may be expected to be further strengthened, and it is out of such a lot, that some with leadership qualities, come out as leading personalities.
But those who are rejected by the peer-group, generally, already happen to be shy of the company of others; and because of this they grow more withdrawing, introvert and escapist. Some of them may grow neurotic for life; some, of course, may develop into writers or thinkers.
Bonny, ME through “sociometry”, and Tuddenham, RD through his reputation test, studied correlates of popularity among elementary school children. Through socio-gram, the social status of the child can also be measured. With the help of a battery of 20 personality variables, it was found that the 20 most popular were also higher in socially aggressive and outgoing characteristics.
A writer remarks, “By and large, the characteristics associated with popularity are the consequence of gratification and reward of early interactions of family setting.” But great is the impact of the peer-group; childhood is the period when one happens to be very impressionable, hence in the development of personality, the peers that one plays and lives with, have a very strong imprint.
If the home environment is not sweet with affection and comforts, or is not stimulating, the attachment of the child to the peer-group would be still stronger.
In the study of many delinquents or juvenile criminals, the non-democratic or dull families were found to be responsible for the children’s falling into bad companies.
A family where the father is very strict, or the elders are wavering in their response to a particular behaviour of the child; or are too busy to sit in an easy mood chatting to the child, sometimes to play with the child, the child’s attraction towards his peers would grow stronger.
Once, a child therapist, in a conference organised on the topic “Relationships and Families” told “children when ignored and misunderstood by their elders, develop a deep sense of rejection which also erases their trust in others.” (The Times of India, Nov. 28, 1998).
She also remarked, “Parents must team to hear the voices of their children before they become manifest in actions like self-abuse including drugs or aggressive behaviours towards their peers and adults.”
Judith Rich Harris, a writer of New Jersey, and recipient of George A Miller Award, in her book declares that mom and dad are “not paramount that the other kids on the playground matter more … They tailor their behaviour to the group”. Peer-group dynamics, she claims, influence everything from smoking to gender roles.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 8.
Personality is related to the whole life of a person even though its development is very rapid during childhood. Personality, almost in its full bloom, is a subject related to adulthood. None the less, we have included the topic in reference to child development because the personality is mainly the resultant of factors which are most effective in childhood.
But profession is such a factor which is related only to adulthood. It also exerts its impact in bringing about changes in one’s personality. Every profession leads to the development of certain habits, attitudes and values in life of the professional. This is why people can guess the profession of a person correctly in a majority of cases.
A doctor reacts to a social event differently than does a man of accounts, or a lawyer; it is because of the impact of one’s profession that develops an attitude by which the professionals are recognised. The profession so fixes ways of behaving and thinking which are unique of that profession, that to predict one’s response to a stimulus, can be possible.
All this shows that a profession is also a factor to count with when we speak of the development of personality.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 9.
Community is a very wide term which may be made up of many social groups. Many entities, like a family, and agencies like a school may be operative therein to bring about a collective and cumulative impact on the individuals belonging to the community.
With the result that an Israelite may be easily distinguished from a Japanese, and an Indian from an African because of some unique characteristics of each of them. We can differentiate the one from the other because of distinctive habits and attitudes of each of them. Each community has its own traditions, history and culture influencing its people since centuries.
The geographic and climatic conditions of each of them may be very dissimilar; each factor affecting the other, the interactions between so many different factors result in the development of a unique and complex character of a community. And, community in its turn serves as a factor in developing each of its individual members into a personality distinguishable from each other member of another community.
Nevertheless, it is not the case that each individual of a community has the same kind of personality in all respects as do others of the community—it is because each individual person has his own “central core” of personality which can hardly be changed, and makes each individual, even of the same community, a unique personality.
The effect of community happens to be very strong on the individuals as well as collectively on all the different organisations and agencies working therein.
We see that in some communities; democracy, if it is ever established, cannot survive long, the people there being more belligerent, and the individual quality of aggressiveness may be getting higher value than the quality of co-operation, the quality of offering sacrifice in the interest of the benefit of the majority.
People of some community are found to be very intractable while that of the other may be pliant or adjustable; some happen to be easily provoked while others are more peace- loving and tolerant; some are more assertive than others.
These differences in the behaviour of peoples representing different communities are because of many factors, the chief among them being the socioeconomic status of a community which includes the level of education of the majority; geographical conditions and the political history of a community also affect the habits, attitudes and the overall lifestyle of the people of a community, and each individual in his personality represents more or less the characteristics of his community.
Coming to the divisions in a community, we find that an urban community effects a different type of personality development than does a rural community. In adult personalities the differences are easy to mark, on a child, the impact of differences may not easily be perceived.
The congenial countryside environment is more suitable for making people rich in imagination; for inculcating love for nature, attachment to animals, for physical health with a variety of chores being there to be done.
But the city life has its advantages, too; there may be more occasions for cognitive development—big libraries, educational institutions of all levels and types being there. Art museums, concerts, theatres, grand markets, and all provide a stimulating environment for having variegated experiences helpful in cognitive development. Both the rural and city communities inculcate different sorts of values and lifestyles.
We, in India, are having a heterogeneous community, with people of different religions, speaking different languages and wearing dissimilar clothes, using dissimilar foods, and so on, have been living together—this situation has made us more tolerant and pliant. A segregated community, generally, would affect in making its people more rigid and fundamentalist.
Personality of a Child: Factor # 10.
Culture represents the best product of human mind in the fields of arts and intellects. It is the result of the cultivated human mind which has been making constant efforts for achieving perfection.
The stage up to which a particular community has reached by dint of its efforts, can be known through the works of that community in the fields of architecture, fine arts, dance, music, different literary forms, styles of living and values of life, consumer items that make life more comfortable, more secure; sanitary care (including ways of disposing wastes), means of recreation and so on.
While on one hand, the achievements in all these varied fields depend upon the types of personalities that the society consists of; on the other hand, the culture of a society through its concrete forms and through its values that direct behaviours of its people, has immense impact upon the development of personality of its people.
Tastes, hobbies, and likings and dis-likings of the people happen, mainly, to be the result of the impact of their culture. Literary and artistic pursuits reflect the nature of culture of the people. The food one eats and the clothes one wears, also reflect the culture of the people.
Culture affects each behaviour of the people of a community; how a younger greets an elder, is different in different communities according to the culture of each.
An Indian boy would touch the feet of his father to see him off while departing for a journey but an English boy would shake hands with his father.
Manners and etiquettes differ from community to community, according to its culture. How an old member is treated in his family; what type of behaviour a woman gets at the hands of her husband, and in her family, to a great extent depend upon the values that the culture teaches. Some people are hospitable while others shy off strangers, so on and so forth.
The models that the parents present before their children; the patterns of rewards and punishments; the attitudes that the people share with other members of their community—all indicate the culture of a community— when both parents belong to the same cultural group, the types of behaviour that they would be teaching to their children, would be alike, and, there would be little or no scope for confusion for the children.
Technique of child rearing, and of discipline, will also be the same in the same cultural group. In the families with low socioeconomic status, physical punishment to children with all its harmful effects, are more frequent. Honesty, though is rewarded in all social groups, yet is more cultivated where the cultural demand makes the parents the living models of honesty.
Danis, A writes that the child’s behaviour which is rewarded and encouraged in one family, may be disapproved and punished in another family because of sub-cultural differences. Parents teach responses, values and beliefs to their children befitting to their sub-culture.
The manner of eating food, and the choice of playmates—all form the part of parental teaching. The educational and occupational goals cannot be decided without an impact of culture in so doing.
The times and places of recreation, the chores required of the child by his family; the rooms and articles of the house, that the child can use: the wearing of certain clothes at certain times, the amount of study required of him, the economic control to which he is subjected, indeed, the very conception of right and wrong of parents— all have bearing with the culture that the parents belong to.
Those belonging to the same culture would behave differently in regard to their children because of socioeconomic class differences. Middle-class mothers would be more affectionate and less punitive in comparison to that of the lower class.
Interviews of 178 mothers of each, upper middle and upper lower class, whose children were in the kindergarten, indicate that mothers belonging to the former class were warmer and more demonstrative.